Civil RightsEducationHot Sheet

New University of Wyoming slogan draws criticism

Author: Associated Press - July 9, 2018 - Updated: July 9, 2018

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The campus of the University of Wyoming in Laramie. (UW)

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Some are raising objections to a planned marketing campaign for the University of Wyoming, calling the slogan sexist, racist and counterproductive to the university’s recruiting goals.

The slogan claims, “The world needs more cowboys.” the Laramie Boomerang reported.

UW Director of Communications Chad Baldwin defended the slogan, saying one of the campaign’s central goals is redefining the word “cowboy” to represent all faculty, staff, students and others associated with the university.

“We’re casting it so that it’s not gender-specific,” Baldwin said. “It’s not at all exclusionary. It’s the spirit of the cowboy that we all kind of share in. So, we’re basically throwing away the old stereotypes and updating what it means to be a cowboy and what it looks like. A cowboy is not what you are, but who you are.”

The UW Committee on Women and People of Color wrote a letter to Baldwin and university President Laurie Nichols, asking them to “shelve that slogan and find another one that represents the diversity of people and cultures that we have, and want to have, as UW.”

Fifty-three percent of UW enrollees are women, according to university data for 2015.

Boulder-based marketing firm Victors & Spoils was paid around $500,000 to develop the campaign. It is part of a more than $1.4 million investment to advertise the university both within and outside Wyoming.

The new slogan is set to launch Sept. 14.

Associated Press

Associated Press